At a press conference, after the U.S. - Canada 2+2 Ministerial meeting, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis and Canadian Minister of National Defense Harjit Sajjan both pledged the joint support for NATO European partners and to Ukraine amid Russia’s recent military escalation in Europe.
"We are united in NATO, where we uphold trans-Atlantic unity and stand with European allies against the full scope of Russian malign influence, to include Moscow’s recent, brazen contempt of international law in the Kerch Strait and action against the Ukrainian people,” Mattis said.
“Canadian and US trainers in western Ukraine, and our battalions in the Baltics represent our combined efforts to build stability and deter further provocative activity,” Mattis added. Sajjan, in turn, condemned Russia’s destructive behavior in the region. "Canada supports Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity in the face of Russian aggression,” he stated.
Sajjan said, “We have trained more than ten thousand Ukrainian soldiers as part of Operation Unifier, and at any given time we have… over 800 Canadian Armed Forces members deployed on Operation Reassurance, and they are supporting NATO deterrence measures in Eastern and Central Europe alongside our American allies.”
On Friday, December 14, in Washington, US Secretary of Defense James Mattis, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland and Canadian Minister of Defense Harjit Sajjan took part in a “2+2” format meeting where they discussed bilateral relations and international policy.